How to pass Leading SAFe 4.0 Exam ?

Leading SAFe 4.0

Recently I cleared Leading SAFe 4.0 exam with 87% score.The certified SAFe 4.0 Agilist is indeed tough exam and if you lack experience in Scrum or SAFe implementation then it becomes very hard to crack this exam. In this blog, I will provide some steps which will guide you in Leading SAFe 4.0 exam preparation.  

[ Note: if you are looking for Leading SAFe 4.0  exam questions then this is not the right place.Exam questions are confidential and SAFe is very much serious about keeping them secret to maintain quality of exam]

First thing first, Two full day training of scaled agile framework is the most important part of this certification. I would suggest that you should actively participate in the training workshop and ask as many questions you get. Write this extra information in the workbook (which will be given to you in the training)

After completing the two-day training workshop, you need to pass this exam in 30 days. Your trainer enrols you to Scaled Agile Institute after enrolment you get the welcome email, your 30-days start when you receive the welcome email.

As you have 30 days in hand and you can pause and restart exam as many time you want (with-in 30 days) I would suggest spending the first week only on

(Update: 3 July 2017: With the launch of SAFe 4.5 things have changed a little bit. SA exam is timeboxed for 90 Minutes and it is closed book now Reference: http://www.scaledagile.com/leading-safe/)

1. Revision of workbook at least twice. 

2. Read all of the details on http://www.scaledagileframework.com/ click on each component of the framework which will provide you the in-depth description about it.

3.Try to understand all 4 levels of the framework i.e. 1. TEAM,2.PROGRAM,3.VALUE STREAM,4.PORTFOLIO

4. You need to identify the important events and ceremonies from each level

5. Spend some time on understanding every role on each level. Just, for example, ScrumMaster@team, RTE@program, VSE@valuestram

6.  You need to understand the important concepts like Lean-Agile mindset, House of Lean, 12 Agile principles, 9 SAFe principles, Built-in-Quality, Implementing 1-2-3

7.  Pre & Post PI planning are important event try to understand purpose and importance of these events.

8. Pl Planning is the backbone of SAFe so you must be aware of this event and every aspect of this.

9. Understand WSJF and Cost of Delay relation, Lean-Agile budgeting for the value streams. 

I will keep updating this blog upon your feedback, Please let me know if you have used any other helpful resource for the study I will surely include that also.

Read my other blog: How to pass CSM test with flying colors? [Scrum Alliance]
 

Update/23August2017: The few sample questions from Scaled Agile website
https://www.scaledagile.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/06/SA4_Sample.pdf

Update/03Oct2017: One of the blog readers(Renjith Vallathil) suggested that  "Get SAFe Now" book helped to pass the exam. Book link: http://amzn.to/2yFFeeR

Useful Books for SAFe Framework :

1. Get SAFe Now: http://amzn.to/2yFFeeR

2. SAFE 4.0 DISTILLED: http://amzn.to/2gecH8O http://amzn.to/2yondmn

3.SAFe® 4.0 Reference Guide: http://amzn.to/2yq1GKc

4.Tribal Unity: Getting from Teams by Creating a One Team Culture: http://amzn.to/2gIT8Gy

5.Agile Software Requirements: Lean Requirements Practices for Teams, Programs and the Enterprise:http://amzn.to/2gd83Ix

6.Scaling Software Agility: Best Practices for Large Enterprises (Agile Software Development Series)
http://amzn.to/2yrIYUj

Comments

Hi Chitnamani, I have been using Agile in my project for past 1 year but now i am planning to take exam and get certified in SAFe 4.0. Can you please guide me through the following : 1. Format of examination 2. Prerequisites of examination 3. Fees of the examination 4. Fees for workshop 5. Online Resources 6. Any other imp info that i might be missing here.

In reply to by Saurabh

Hi Saurabh,

Please refer below:
1. The format of examination: It is MCQ and totally objective type exam, No descriptive question and answers.

2. Prerequisites of examination:

  • 5+ years experience in software development, testing, business analysis, product or project management
  • Experience in Scrum

 3. Fees for the examination + workshop: Exam fee + Training workshop fee is approx Rs.20,000 INR

4. Online Resources: Best resource is http://www.scaledagileframework.com most of the questions are based on this website content

5. Any other imp info: If you have not done Certified Scrum Master then I would suggest going for CSM first then SAFe. Things will be easier for you. Refer my CSM blog http://www.umarani.com/how-to-pass-csm-test
6. Refer: http://www.scaledagile.com/leading-safe/

Cheers \m/

In reply to by PRASHANT SHAH

Hi Prashant,

The exam is open book and questions are most of the time scenario based but you can find the pointers for answers from http://www.scaledagileframework.com

Cheers \m/

Couple of questions: 1. I am confused with your statement that one can pause and resume the exam any time. Are the questions or the exam not timed? 2. What happens to the last unanswered question when you pause the exam? In other words, can I read a question, pause the exam, research about the answer and then resume the exam with my answer? 3. Would you know the passing score for this exam?

Hi MG,

Okay. Things have changed now when I completed my SAFe 4 Agilist Exam in April 2017.
It was not timeboxed. Today I visited http://www.scaledagile.com/leading-safe/ for verification and found that.
1. Exam is now closed book
2. It is timeboxed for 90 minutes (1.5 hours)
3. Pausing the exam is not really option now because anyhow you need to finish the exam in 90 minutes.

4.Passing score – 34 out of 45 (76% passing score)

Read further here: http://www.scaledagile.com/leading-safe/

 

Hi Chinta, I am preparing SAFe Certification exam now. My trainer just told me that with the launch of SAFe 4.5 we will enroll exam also for 4.5. I sense something different, especially, the statement "closed book". As the exam is starting on web-browser, how can it be closed book? er Secondly, there is a sample test which I tried already. Some answer doesn't really make sense. And there is no clarification for that. Can you please provide more learning materials for detailed understanding? Many thanks Kevin

In reply to by Kevin

Hi Kevin,

Going for 4.5 exam is advisable now.  Sadly, there is no better learning material available in market than scaledagileframework.com (At least for now)

If you go to http://www.scaledagileframework.com and click on any component given in the chart, it takes to details description page.

I will post some links if I come across anything.

I am doing scrum master certification, working as team lead post. Fresher in scrum master field. what is the scope of getting a job?

In reply to by chandrasekar

Hi Chandrasekar,

You will get good opportunities after getting your CSM done. Always note that if you are the technical guy then ScrumMaster will be your secondary skills which will boost your candidature among others.


If you only want to project yourself as full-time ScrumMaster then things become difficult (at least in India) reason behind this is, in India company prefers techies overs non-techies. 



In short, make your profile like, Team leader with XYZ technology skills who is also ScrumMaster and can lead a team in Agile-way.

 

FYI : https://www.naukri.com/scrum-master-jobs-in-india

Cheers \m/

Hi Chintan, Thank you for your review of the SA certification, this is a very helpful write up. I am a Scrum Master with about 2 years of experience and I hold the CSM and PMI-ACP Certifications. I don't think I have enough experience quite yet to be eligible for the SA cert but I was hoping to get your opinion on the SSM (SAFe Scrum Master) Certification. Do you think this cert is worth the time and money? Also, is it recognized in the industry at all? I think it is a new cert that came out with SAFe 4.5. Thanks ahead!

In reply to by Andrew

Hi Andrew.

Thanks.  As you mentioned you are already CSM and PMI-ACP as well then I will suggest you should go with SA.
When we compare SA and SSM side by side you will find out that SA is more generic certification and gives end to end exposure to SAFe framework, on the other hand, SSM is more focused on operations, PI Plannings other ceremonies.

SSM is relatively new so it will take some time to gain popularity. I feel you should invest in SA directly and skip SSM.
And  Take a look at new things in SAFe 4.5 http://www.scaledagileframework.com/whats-new-in-safe-45/

In reply to by Chintan

Hi Chintan, Thank you so much for your quick response back, I will definitely take your advice and opt for the SA cert. One thing I noticed though is it says you need 5 years of experience in Software Development to qualify (I currently only have 2 years experience). Is Scaled Agile as stringent with these requirements when compared to PMI where I'd be subject to formal documentation submission and potential auditing? Also, I noticed that there is an SAFe Advanced Scrum Master (SASM) cert as well, do you still recommend the SA over the SASM as well? Thanks again for your direction and input, this has been very helpful. - Andrew

Is it true to say that Future Enabler Features influence the cost of delay of current business Features?

I'm trying to gauge if I am ready to take the exam. Are there are good practice questions? I've found the six sample questions but I was hoping for more. Thanks!

In reply to by Sarah

Hi Sarah,

There are no mock tests available for SAFe.   Please go through http://www.scaledagileframework.com all chapters twice. That is the only thing we can do right now. ScaledAgile is very strict about question disclosure so no body posted anything on the internet as per my knowledge.

If you find anything, pls let us know. I will include those link in my blog. 

Best of Luck for Exam \m/

Hi, do you have the ability to skip questions that you are uncertain about and then go back to them to answer before ending the exam?

Hello Chintan, I have completed my CSM and CSPO certifications, currently studing for SAFe Agilist. Can you please share some tips or tricks on how to proceed with the study for clearing the SAFe 4.5 Agilist. I was studing via the scale agiled framework website (http://www.scaledagileframework.com)

In reply to by Pankaj Shegokar

Hi Pankaj,

You are doing great. scaledagileframework.com is the only credible source of SAFe 4.5 information. I have observed all other websites has old data and not updated with newer versions of the SAFe framework.

I would say actively participate in the classroom training, You all participant can create a WhatsApp group have a discussion in that group about concepts and exam preparation that helps a lot.

Best of Luck \m/

Hi, I have just started to prepare for certifications. I am planning to give to SA and PMI-ACP, however I do not know how or where to start from. Also, if you can share institute that offers 2 day courses for SA it will be helpful

In reply to by Gupta

Hi There,

A good starting point will be enrolling you to one of the classroom training. 
https://www.knowledgehut.com/agile-management/leading-safe-certification-training check this page and change the city according to your preference.
This training totally dependent on "how well trainer is" than the training provider institute.
Also, go through http://www.scaledagileframework.com

Cheers.

Chintan - Thanks for the article. It is helpful. Actually, the training is not so helpful from exam standpoint. As an additional preparation, I read the book Get SAFe Now, http://amzn.to/2yFFeeR Please check it out. It was very useful for me.

Passing SAFe 4.5 in 90 minutes is not an easy task esp with Timeboxing the exam. I couldn't pass the exam in the first go and had to read thoroughly and buy Sample questions...

Hi Chintan, have few questions regarding Safe Agile, do you have personal mail id, where I can send my doubts

Hello, I am CSM certified and want to go in for SA certification but I dont have that much experience as Scrum Master. Is it advisable to go in for SA . Is SP same as CSM?? Thanks in advance !! Nidhi

In reply to by nidhi

Hi Nidhi,
I have done both CSM and SA.
CSM is very scrum centric. It talks mainly about the scrum team.
SA goes beyond scrum up to enterprise level. It talks about the team of teams, Agile trains(ART) and beyond.
If your organisation is using SAFe then I would say you are the most qualified person to go for SA as you have good amount knowledge about CSM already.

Go for it. Share your experience about new SAFe 4.5.

Hi chintan, Would you be able to answer below question, According to the Harvard Business Review article titled, "The New New Product Development Game", what does it mean to create built-in instability? Provide unclear requirements, a volatile, demanding work environment, and monitor the team's progress Provide challenging requirements, a high degree of freedom to meet the requirements, and get out of the way Provide challenging requirements, a high degree of freedom to meet the requirements, and review team outputs closely Provide easy requirements, a clear path, a well-articulated plan to meet them, and closely monitor the teams ____________________________ If small batches go through the system faster with lower variability, then which two statements are true about batch size? (Choose two.) Proximity (co-location) enables small batch size Low utilization increases variability Good infrastructure enables large batches Severe project slippage is the most likely result of large batches Batch sizes cannot influence our behavior ____________________________________________ What are two ways to describe a cross-functional Agile team? (Choose two.)You have reached the max number of allowed answers They use clear requirements from Business Analysts They create boundaries between functions They can define, build, and test a feature or component They are optimized for communication and delivery of value They deliver value every six weeks _____________________________________________ One team has no stretch objectives identified on day two at the end of PI Planning. When asked, the team members explain that all the functionality must be completed in this PI, otherwise the organization will not comply with regulatory requirements. What is the next step or action? Have the System Architect rework the team's plan Split the team's scope into committed and stretch objectives based on implementation risk Consider teams helping each other at the cost of reducing the original scope of work Require that the team add a few stretch objectives

In reply to by chelok

Hi chelok,

Sorry, I will not provide any answers. This blog is not for that purpose.
Please go through http://www.scaledagileframework.com/#

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